Up to 100 Pasifika students have graduated from Swinburne University of Technology’s Discovery Sprint program, where young people in Victoria have the opportunity to gain skills that could kickstart their careers in in-demand industries such as media, design, animation and film.
This innovative, new program, named Sa'ili le ala (meaning ‘discovery path’) builds on ongoing Swinburne research to understand the cultural complexities driving Pasifika youth interactions with Australian educational processes, and to co-design sustainable and scalable practice.
“This program has helped young people discover their passion, unearth new knowledge and develop new skills, including digital fluency. It will kick start an education journey that will lead them to be part of the workforce of the future. We believe it will help them achieve their dreams,” Professor Quester adds.
Helping Pasifika youths thrive
The participants created graphic designs, animations and creative works that connect culture and community across three design sprints this year.
During each session, students learned fundamental design concepts and skills, including creative thinking and ideation, and techniques such as image making, sketching, and typography. These skills have been applied to generate designs for NRL jerseys and footballs, and Yarra trams. The graduation included a full exhibition of the students’ design processes and outcomes.
The project is an educational response for Pasifika youth to develop life skills to remain engaged in education and have a growth mindset that builds both inclusion and community resilience.
“We are proud to be a strong interdisciplinary team across education, creative arts, technology, and STEM, bringing this important project to life,” says project lead and Swinburne Chair of Education, Professor Sivanes Philipson.
“Working together with our partners, the Le Mana team of Centre for Multicultural Youth and the NRL, we are helping to build capacity within Pasifika communities in Victoria to develop positive life trajectories that are sustainable and long term,” Professor Phillipson adds.
Pasifika Community Elders joined the celebrations of the student’s graduate exhibition, in collaboration with the National Rugby League (NRL), NRL Victoria and the Centre for Multicultural Youth.
The Sa'ili le ala program is funded by the Federal Governmenmt’s Safer Communities Early Intervention Fund.
“This funding allows us to bring innovative education opportunities to Pasifika young people. This program brings life-changing opportunities for these young people and their community,” says Swinburne Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pascale Quester